Scalable process for differentiating pluripotent stem cells into definitive endoderm

Definitive endoderm (DE) is a structure in the early embryo, which develops into the respiratory epithelium, liver, pancreas and intestine, among other cell types. These progenitor cells can be differentiated from pluripotent stem cells. Anais Sahabian from the Olmer group (DZL Young Investigators Group) has now developed a protocol with which these cells can be differentiated from pluripotent stem cells independently of the substrate in suspension cultures and under defined conditions. The DE cells can thus be produced in large quantities, further differentiated into different cell types or frozen for later use. Possible areas of application are high throughput screening methods, toxicology studies and cell therapy. You can find more about the fascination on stem cell research and the motivation of the researchers on the website of the BREATH Research Network of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL, here). The original article in the scientific journal “Nature Protocols” can be found here.

Open Access: Sahabian, A., Dahlmann, J., Martin, U. et al. Production and cryopreservation of definitive endoderm from human pluripotent stem cells under defined and scalable culture conditions. Nat Protoc 16, 1581–1599 (2021). doi.org/10.1038/s41596-020-00470-5